a NEW recipe and a NEW baking technique

cakefr

Happy Friday!

So I baked a cake – and it wasn’t even a family member’s birthday! Yes, that is highly unusual!!!  I was so inspired by Jodi’s cake at the creative life in between – {You’ve got to go see! It was SO, SO beautiful!} It was a Lemon Blueberry Zucchini Cake and I just had to make one for my people.  I had three really large zucchinis on my counter, just waiting for my attention, so Jodi’s posting of this recipe was perfect timing. I only wish I could have copied her squash blossom garnish, but no blossoms were to be found in my garden (bummer!).

AND…I tried a NEW baking technique. I’ve been wanting to try out cake strips for a while. I didn’t even know about cake strips until recently. How many of you knew about these? (Have I been living in a cave??!??)

These are cake strips – they are supposed to make your cakes more moist and level:

cakestrips

Since I wanted to try this technique out before purchasing a set, I used the DIY tinfoil/wet paper towel version this time:

caketin

I learned how to do the DIY version here:

 

Thanks to Jodi for the inspiration (I get tons from her site!). Now to go eat some more Lemon Blueberry Zucchini yumminess.  Have a great day.  Do or learn or bake something NEW!

 

Advertisements

thinking up a NEW b.h.a.g.

100.jpg

Happy Tuesday!

Well, on August 11th I reached my summer goal of riding my bicycle 100 miles in one day (odometer photo ‘proof’ above). The last time I had done that was about a decade ago. It was a hot day and we rode some of that 100 miles in 100 degree weather –  UGH!

So, now I need to think up my next B.H.A.G as my husband likes to call them (Big Hairy Audacious Goals).  Not that riding 100 miles is that big or audacious, because the day before that ride I got an email from a riding group that was planning a 140 ride on that day! And Tour de France riders do that every day for almost a month!  But it’s all relative, right?  A big hairy goal for some people is easy peasy for others.

Hmmmm…I have so many areas of interest that I’m contemplating lots of different BHAGs.  How can I narrow it down? Once I do and make a decision, I’ll let you know.  It’s kind of nice having blogosphere accountability.  It gives me a bit more incentive not to give up and move on when I get bored (which I tend to do).

If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them!

Have a great day. Do or learn, or plan something NEW!

 

 

 

a NEW addition to my garden

garden2.jpg

Happy Friday!

So, where do you put your small garden tools? I made this handy-dandy mosaic mailbox for my garden to hold my gloves, spade, garden snipers and even a little notebook where I tape all the plant tags – you know, the instruction-thingy that tells you how to care for the plant?  I put that in a plastic bag with tape, pencil and reading glasses.  I’m all set in my garden! I LOVE it!

Can you tell I spelled out GROW with the broken up tiles?  On the other side I spelled out BLOOM. My hubby earned his way through college doing tile work, so now even though he’s a finance guy, we never pay anyone to do any tile work at our house – and that means I have plenty more tile scraps to do more projects.  This was my very first mosaic attempt and now I plan to make some garden stepping stones etc.

Here’s the front view:

garden1.jpg

Isn’t it amazing what a boost something NEW and different brings to life?!?

Have a great day! Let me know know what’s NEW with YOU!

 

Miscellaneous Monday…NEW stuff i gotta share

beeflowered.jpg

Happy Monday!

It’s been a while since I’ve randomly rambled off some miscellany on a Monday, so here’s what’s up:

I rented the macro lens from the library again, and this little bee posed for me this morning.  A macro lens for my Nikon is definitely going on my Christmas wish list!

I’m loving a gardening YouTube channel called Garden Answer.  This YouTuber is knowledgeable without being overly talkative (aka wasting my viewing time with a surfeit of blah blah blah). Laura just comes across very “real” – very genuine. She’s a sweet young gardener who has worked at her parent’s nursery for a lot of years and has picked up a lot of knowledge that she shares with her viewers. I like her a lot.

I sometimes listen to Gretchen Rubin’s podcast on my way to work.  I had to laugh at a recent episode, when Gretchen challenged her listeners to make something that they’d normally buy. I laughed because if my family would have been listening with me, they would have yelled “Don’t encourage her!!!”  I have family members that tease me about trying to DIY a lot more things than I probably should. Doing a lot of DIYs means having my fair share of FAILS – thus the teasing! Ultimately, I’m just a cheapskate and know I can make most things for a lot less than I can buy them.  The trick is balancing  time expended with how much you actually save, right? I enjoy this podcast and wish Gretchen would record more than one episode a week, but oh well – I’d probably get behind if they did.

I made this really, REALLY easy cookie recipe call Oreo Pan Sugar Cookies,  Did I mention they were quick and EASY to make? I took the entire batch to work on a day I only worked a couple of hours, so I’ll have to ask around and see how everyone liked them. Personally, they were a bit too sweet for me, but then when has “sweet” been a terrible thing? I have a son who loves Oreos, so I’ll have to make these again and get his review.

Lastly, we’ll be renting a camping trailer later this summer and camping at a lake, so I need to get to get planning.  I need fun activity ideas, good, but quick meal ideas, and generally NEW fun family together time ideas.  If any of you have some good ones for me, please chime in!

Have a fabulous Monday.  Do or learn something NEW!

 

 

a NEW Thursday thought

june18photowalk

Today’s NEW thought:

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.

You can see my photo walk last Sunday morning had a definite color theme eh? I really want to make a NEW habit of taking photo walks regularly.  We’ll just have to see if every walk turns out to have a theme.  Maybe…maybe not.  Have a great day!  Do, learn or WALK somewhere NEW!

a NEW Friday photo challenge

bathopening.jpg

Happy Friday!

I’m linking to Nancy’s photo challenge today.  The theme is ‘Opening’. This photo was taken in Bath, England last year, and I don’t think I’ve ever posted it.

As for my other challenges:  I FINALLY finished the scary, long book from my 12 Classics Reading Challenge (Youngblood Hawke). It seemed to take me forever! But now I’m finished and on to others.

I’m on track with my century bike ride training challenge. I’m bumping up the mileage each and every week.

Someday I’d like to do a travel challenge by putting a map of the U.S. on the wall – throw a dart at it and then travel to wherever it lands.  What do you think?  Has anyone done that challenge?  I think it would be a blast!

Have a great day! Do or learn something NEW and challenging!

 

NEW photos of Walden Pond and a short Sunday sermon

waldenpond.jpg

Happy Sunday!

We recently visited Walden Pond and before I forget….I’m going to link up to Cee’s Shoes and Feet Challenge (these are my short stubby toes dipped in Walden Pond – yes Henry David Thoreau’s Walden Pond)!

DSC_3475

And for today’s short Sunday sermon, I’ll link up to THIS excellent blog post from quite a few years ago. The author ends his article by asking:

What is your rock pile?  What is the impact you are making on the world?  What are the stories you tell that those behind you will be shaped by?  The call of the gospel is full of this kind of promise: “Follow Me,” says Jesus, “and I will make your life extraordinary.”  Our lives are imbued with purpose as we follow the Maker of the Universe who is calling us to continue to tell His stories.  Stone by stone, our lives should be shaping the world.

I hope you go and read the full article. And I hope I remember those important questions every time I look at these photos I took at Walden Pond!

thoreausrockpilesign

“I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

– Henry David Thoreau

And here’s a close up of one of the little piles of rocks on top of the sign…spider webs and all!

thoreusrocks

Have a great Sunday!